Narcan in Las Vegas valley is being offered just like chips and candy bars – in vending machines.
Just last month, the Trac-b Needle Exchange program launched “impact exchange” – a vending machine that offers a number of free naloxone kits to anyone. In 2017 Las Vegas became the first city in the U.S. to provide syringes through vending machines as a tool for harm reduction, however now, the machines are adding the powerful and life-saving opioid reversal drug, Narcan.
Narcan In Las Vegas
The newest machine is located at the Center for Behavioral Health, a substance abuse treatment facility. Along with Narcan, the machine also offers clean needles, personal hygiene and first-aid kids, safe sex information and pregnancy tests.
“The vending machine provides easy access that does not require a medical appointment,” the news release said. It “is part of Center for Behavioral Health’s mission to address addiction on multiple fronts.”
“With the opioid epidemic that’s going on right now, the overdoses that are occurring, we had to get a product out there and you can’t get enough people to hand the product out,” said the program’s director, Rich Reich.
In order to use the vending machines, users will have to register for the syringe exchange program at the Center for Behavioral Health in Las Vegas. Once registered, users are presented with a card that allows users to pick up free kits from the machines. Cardholders are able to receive one dose of Narcan each month, 30 needles one time per month, or grooming and safe sex kits every other day.
“We Don’t Discriminate”
Nevada health officials say the easy availability of Narcan is making a difference with opioid addiction throughout Vegas.
While the vending machine is the first of its kind in the United States, since the program began, more than 1,000 Narcan kits have been distributed, and more than 90 people have used them to treat overdoses.
Trac-b Exchange medical clinic offers a number of other programs including HIV testing, Hepatitis B/C testing and a number of other treatment options including resources and education on treatment to abstain from substances.
“We don’t discriminate on who we’re going to give needles to, we just want to make sure they are using them correctly, use them only once, and then dispose of them correctly,” says Reich.
The kits are available at the following places:
The Center for Behavioral Health, 3050 E. Desert Inn, Suite 116
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada 401 S. Maryland Pkwy.
Huntridge Family Clinic 1830 E. Sahara Ave. Suite 201